The Office of Davao Vice Mayor Sebastian Duterte on Monday kicked off the caravan services for children in Barangay Mapula, Paquibato District aimed at fostering needs of children, especially in rural areas.

Vice Mayor Baste, who has been acting mayor since July following the official leave of Mayor Inday Sara Duterte, is getting the support of the city chief executive to initiate the caravan services dubbed as “Handog sa Caravan”.

Kim Nicole Briggs, the Barangay Affairs Officer of the Office of the Vice Mayor, said the caravan was conceptualized after the office observed that caravan services mostly catered the adults.

Briggs said the Handog sa Caravan has 4 stages starting with the registration. To register, children from ages 6-12 must give ten (10) plastic bottles. The plastic bottles will be brought by the VMO to its agency partner, Plastic Free Davao which recycles plastics into eco-bricks, chairs, and other materials.

The second stage is the “Pasalida sa Caravan” wherein the children are gathered to watch educational videos on dengue awareness, earthquake drill, risk/disaster awareness, and how to protect the environment. A short quiz follows with prizes at stake for the kids who give the correct answers.

The children will proceed to the next stage – Librarya sa Caravan. The children can borrow or donate books. During this stage, a Cebuano story is read to them that teaches moral lessons in life.

Dominic Dapat, the staff of Librarya sa Caravan, said that one of the stories he read to the children during the Mapula activity was “Si Kalipay ug ang Kinagamyang Tiktik”, which tells about two friends and how they accept each other regardless of their differences – race, culture, physical and religion.

“Bisa’g unsa, wala nako na-ila, pero amigohon” (We should make friends with people whoever they are). May one of the kids who joined, share the lessons of the story.

Briggs said the final stage of the caravan is the “Padula sa Caravan”. Kids are treated to different “Larong Pinoy”.

After completing four stages, each child gets an eco-bag and a tumbler to promote the call against single-use plastics.

“Makatabang ni para naa sila’y matun-an, naa’y masulod sa ilang utok (This is one learning that they will not forget),” said Sheila Bisamos, one of the parents of the children who joined in the Mapula caravan. CIO